3D printed bone tissue - Credit: UNSW / YouTube
Medical 3D printing is far from a new concept, but it continues to make impressive progress, as does food 3D printing which now allows you to create ingredients in the form ofgel . In Australia, a team of researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney developed a new ceramic ink for printing bones . His particuliarity ? It incorporates living cells into the structure of bone. These cells are then able to multiply for several weeks after printing with a viability of 95% .
This ceramic ink could "save a lot of lives
Until now, 3D printing of bone tissue has used synthetic components , that is, foreign bodies that must be introduced into the body, which is not always viable. With this new ceramic ink, not only can surgeons avoid the use of harsh chemicals, they can also directly imprint bone in their patient's body .
The University of New South Wales shared on YouTube a video that explains how this new ceramic ink works. Dr Kris Kilian said the discovery will speed up surgeries while reducing patient suffering . He also added that this still could "maybe hopefully save a lot of lives." In fact, the damaged bones of patients are usually repaired by autologous bone graft . This method of removing bone from another part of the body is considered rather invasive, not to mention the high risk of infection .
As you can see from the video, ceramic ink is a biocompatible calcium phosphate. At room temperature, the ink is in the form of a paste. However, shehardens into a porous nanocrystalline matrix on contact with a gelatin bath and thus becomes similar to real bone tissue .
Finally, like 3D printing that allowed scientists to give voice to a priest in ancient Egypt , this discovery promises to revolutionize medical 3D printing in the future.